The rain fell steadily all day and the hash fell steadily all night.
OK, a bit of an exaggeration as the rain stopped at around 4.30 and the hash stopped some five hours later at 9.30. And, in truth, only one hasher that I know about fell – but it was a blinder. Kev performed a tricky high flying moose from the top of a stile, landing on his chest in a muddy puddle about the size of Wales.
His technique was exemplary. Having got most of his not inconsiderable bulk over the stile's top bar he hurled himself manfully onwards (presumably planning to clear the muddy puddle with some distance to spare). All went well up to the point where he realised that it is best to leap forwards after checking that both feet are safely on the far side. Leaving one foot on the wrong side is a rooky mistake and we should all learn from it.
Still, there was a positive side to this. As Rob, the due scribe, was unaccountably absent and I had forgotten to ask anyone else, I had to write the Trash myself and Kev gave me something to talk about.
I had intended to say that everything went downhill from here on, but it didn't. There was a lot of uphill to climb first.
A few statistics gleaned from my GPS. The average speed of the evening's hash was 12.57 minutes per mile (equivalent to three hours for a half marathon!). The hash was 6.29 miles long and ascended 897 ft. This is surprising as it descended 902 feet – which can only mean I wore out five feet of shoe-leather on my way around. The weather was cloudy and I burned-off 737 calories.
Leaving the pub we crossed the Aylesbury Road and turned south-west across Broomfield farm, across two roads and along another until, gasping for breath, we arrived at Angling Spring Wood – which is well known as having nothing to do with Angling, or Springs. Less well known is that it has a talking tree trail, and one of the actors used to record the narration was Dobby (from Harry Potter) in his human disguise as Toby Jones, (click to download and hear him).
I would like to report how, at this part, I tore past Kai leaving a cloud of dust in my wake. Sadly there is a very minor mistake in that sentence. The minor mistake was Kai. Question: is it legal to kneecap young children who run so much faster than you do?
By dint of checking in the wrong direction at Green Lane I had some way to catch up, but enjoyed the return trip through Angling Spring Wood with its two brief chats about Rouen, which gave me the chance to quip that chatting whilst running will be the Rouen of me.
At the railway line I checked a disastrously long way through the houses in the conviction that, even if I was going wrong, my route would still meet up with the trail. It did. About 30 yards after I had given up in despair and turned back for the correct trail!
At some point we got to the scene of Kev's magnificent moose. And, as I can't tell you about it again, let me mention his first ever hash moose. We were all standing around at a check. Kev was absolutely stationary and gazing into the distance. He took a step forward, then tried to take a step with his other foot before returning the first one to the ground. Having both feet simultaneously in the air is not a natural state for hashers and Kev did what most of us would do in the circumstances. He flailed both arms uselessly before deciding enough was enough and that it was time to lie down on the grass, accompanied by thudding and grunting sounds. Note to Kev: try concentrating on the footwork in future.
Crossing the Misbourne I checked in the right direction for a change, with the result that I had to on-back through the first herd of rampaging bullocks. Still it was interesting seeing Jo trying to hide from them by running on both sides of the same hasher at the same time.
Then came the hill past the church. The cry of on-on seemed to change to on-up as the next mile was solidly upwards and Chalkdell wood blurred into Stocking's Wood and then into Jenkin's Wood before reaching the summit and turning left along Potter Row.
Eventually we turned downhill and headed back to the pub. The last field before the on-in saw what was, for most of us, the highlight of the evening. I was again doing an on-back through a herd of, even livelier, bullocks when Jo squeaked, screamed that they were coming for her, grabbed a hasher (I think it was Mark), thrust him between herself and the bullocks, ran cowering behind him before spotting a way-through. With a burst of speed that would have put Usain Bolt to shame she sprinted for the kissing gate, with legs and arms waving wildly she sent hashers flying in multiple directions, jumped the queue (and nearly the gate) and collapsed onto the safety of the other side. Apologising very prettily to all of the hashers she had cast asunder in her mad dash for salvation, and with a smile beaming with relief and gratitude, she giggled at herself and became the hit (or do I mean miss?) of the night.
Pleasant chips, good beer and a typically obscure speech for Roger left us with the contented feeling that always comes from stopping running. Many thanks to hare Dick for an excellent hash, and to Kev and Jo for the entertainment.